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The Search for Quiet London – The Books of Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

qiuet london postcards

Finding a peaceful haven in a stressful city is the dream of many city dwellers, one such city dweller Siobhan Wall  turned the search for peaceful havens into a series of books. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, then Quiet London which was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York. Each book seemed to strike a chord  with her readers who may like the hustle and bustle of city life but crave a quiet corner to unwind and reflect.

Following on from the success of her early Quiet London book, recently Siobhan has written three Quiet London books that expand on the theme but look at distinct areas. Quiet London (Quiet Corners), Quiet London (Food and Drink) and Quiet London (Culture) all represent ways of finding peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living . One misconception of the ‘Quiet ethos’ the author is quick to point out is that it is more about a determination to find a space in which values peace and quiet rather than finding empty and unused locations.

This is an important distinction because it is possible to be social in a quiet way without excessive noise, in fact it is often easier to have conversations if you are not shouting above loud music. The book suggests a surprisingly wide range of peaceful and tranquil places in London that will allow you to enjoy your surroundings. London is fortunate to have a number of parks, gardens and opens spaces, however there is also a number of alternative locations such as places of worship, churchyards and cemeteries.
Cultural institutions can offer many areas of peace and quiet, on the surface it may seem a rather strange idea that you seek peace and quiet in places whose prior aim is to attract people to their institutions but there are peaceful havens if you know where to look.

it is this last point that makes the Quiet books so useful, many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet haven which they frequent, however the books offers a wide range of quiet havens all over London.

The author stresses the importance of finding these Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.
With people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’ and increased stress levels are driving more people to mental health problems like anxiety attacks and depression, the ‘Quiet Revolution’ represents a partial antidote to this modern phenomenon.

In the book on Food and Drink,the author explores peaceful places to eat and drink which forego the modern trend of having a constant background of music. She also author recognises that the past decade has seen the principles of the ‘Slow’ Revolution especially regarding food gaining footholds in many of London’s neighbourhoods.
The Restaurant section offers quite an eclectic selection ranging from Hazuki , a small Japanese restaurant to the historic Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. But regardless of size and expense, the main criteria for inclusion they all offer the opportunity to enjoy your own company or the company of friends without the distraction of loud music or excessive noise. Finding a quiet pub or bar can represent more of a challenge but there are an increasing number who ban music and even sometimes the use of mobile phones.

Each book offers something quite different in London, an escape from the fast-moving environment and find places that allow to you can enjoy your surroundings. What the author realised sometime ago is that peace and quiet is a valuable commodity in the hustle and bustle of city life, to find places to sit and enjoy is one of the pleasures of city life. Each of these books succeeds by taking away the sometimes onerous task of finding these peaceful havens by ourselves, instead we are provided with a large number of locations and establishments for us to explore.

If you would like to buy copies of the books or even an attractive Quiet London postcard book that features photographs of many of the best sites, visit the publishers site here.

If you would like to read the our reviews of the individual books  press the appropriate link.

Quiet London (Quiet Corners)

Quiet London (Food and Drink)

Quiet London (Culture)

 London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

 

 

 

Book Review : Quiet London (Quiet Corners) by Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

ql qiuet corners

When Siobhan Wall’s book Quiet London was first published in 2011, it represented part of the authors search for peaceful havens in some of the worlds most iconic cities. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, Quiet London was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York.

The success of the original Quiet London  book has led to the production of three new Quiet London Books that further explore the many  places to sit and relax without excessive noise.
In the book Quiet London (Quiet Corners) , the author explores more peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living .

After an introduction the book is divided sections which include Parks, gardens and opens spaces, Churchyards & cemeteries , Places to relax, Places of worship, Places near water, Places to sit, and finally Places to stay .

In the introduction, the author argues that Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.

In recent years this is a message that London has taken seriously with a series of large parks being renovated and a large number of individuals, groups and organisations seeking to promote biodiversity by reclaiming waste ground for nature reserves and gardens.

It is within parks such as Lloyd in Walthamstow and Morden in recent years that wildlife and their habitat is taken seriously , Peckham Rye Park and Common is another green space that has been transformed by the local authority and local residents.

But as the author points out it is not just the large green expanses that offer a peaceful haven, even  deep within the city with Grosvenor Square Garden and Princes Square there are places to sit and reflect.

Perhaps one of best places to reflect on our mortality is in a churchyard or cemetery, Abney Park is a good illustration of the way that many Victorian cemeteries have turned into a woodland memorial park and local nature reserve. Many churchyards in London are particularly picturesque and often have well tended gardens.

For those who want a little more than sitting quietly , the author offers a selection of places to increase your wellbeing which include  Yoga , Meditation, Tai Chi and Spa’s .

After discussing the pleasure of sitting in churchyards, the next section covers the  inside of Places of Worships. Central London is fortunate to have a large number of churches that offer some sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the street outside.  St George’s Hanover Square and All Saints Margaret Street both offer some spiritual respite from the crowds of Oxford Street.

In London, two of the greatest pleasures is finding Places near water and Places to sit and the book offers a wide range of spots to  enjoy.

Finally we are treated to Places to Stay, rather than large impersonal hotels, the author looks at a number of Bed and Breakfasts or lodges  which offer a refuge even in what could well be described as noisy areas.

The book is well written and informative with each location illustrated by a short  description and a photograph. The author is also an artist and uses those talents to find locations that may be quiet but are also aesthetically pleasing .

One of the major surprises of a book like this is that we often imagine in a major city there are very few quiet corners but actually when you look around you realise there are actually quite a large number. Many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet corner which they frequent, however this book offers a wide range of quiet corners.

Anyone who spends any period of time in London whether a resident or a visitor realises it can be extremely stressful and overpowering, this book offers an antidote by providing information about those all important sanctuaries where we can relax and recharge our batteries.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

 If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy , visit the publishers website here 

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

 

Book Review : Quiet London (Food and Drink) by Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

quiet lon fod

When Siobhan Wall’s book Quiet London was first published in 2011 , it seemed to strike a chord with many people who live in London who may like the hustle and bustle of city life but crave a quiet corner to unwind and reflect.

The success of that first book has led to the production of three new Quiet London Books that explore many more places to sit and relax without excessive noise.
In the book Quiet London (Food and Drink) , the author explores peaceful places to eat and drink which forego the modern trend of having a constant background of music.

In a response to quickening speed of life in London, the author recognises that the past decade has seen the principles of the ‘Slow’ Revolution especially regarding food gaining footholds in many of London’s neighbourhoods.

The book after an introduction is split into sections which explore different Food and Drink choices for the quiet orientated  customer. The sections  include Restaurants, Cafe’s and places for afternoon tea, Small shops, Pubs & bars  and finally Food Markets.

The Restaurant section offers quite an eclectic selection ranging from Hazuki , a small Japanese restaurant to the historic Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. Regardless of size or expense they all offer  the opportunity  to  enjoy your own company or the company of friends without the distraction of loud music .

Amongst the Cafe’s and places for afternoon tea, there is perhaps a wider selection of places to visit  and offer a greater opportunity to interact with the people who work in the establishments. From a Turkish Bakery in North London to the Orangery in Kensington Palace, the wonderful diversity of London is explored  and preference given to  those who show passion and commitment in their trade. Many of the establishments have been around for years but there are also plenty of newcomers who are making a name for themselves.

The same could be said of the Small shop section, the authors preference for organic and natural products means that Wholefood shops are well supported but  there a number of interesting specialist shops like R Garcia and Sons delicatessen which stocks Spanish delicacies or I Camisa and Son the legendary Italian Deli in Soho.

Finding a quiet pub or bar can represent more of a challenge, however quiet does not mean empty but a place where you can have a conversation without shouting . There is a number of well known London pubs selected like the Coach and Horses , the George and the Fitzroy Tavern but there are also a number lesser known pubs like the Knights Templar, the Goodman’s Field and Penderel’s Oak.

The final section of Food Markets is probably the main area of change in the last few years, as well as some markets getting a new lease of life, Farmers Markets have become established in many London neighbourhoods. The temporary nature of such markets often means they are in quiet and pleasant settings such as Horniman Museum Gardens, Kew Village or the Imperial College Lawn.Each market tends to have it own specialities with high quality products often the prerequisite to being allocated a stall.

Quiet London (Food and Drink) is a guide to quiet places to drink, eat and shop. It is a well written and informative with short descriptions for each venue, alongside travel and contact details and attractive  photographs in colour and black and white.

This book offers something quite different in London, peace and quiet is a valuable commodity in the hustle and bustle of city life.  To find places to sit and enjoy food and drink in pleasant surroundings is one of the pleasures of city life, this book fulfils a valuable task by providing a large number of establishments for us to explore.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

 If you would like to find out more about the book or buy a copy , visit the publishers website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here